A Few Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself

I’ll start off this article with a quick disclaimer: I am someone who is constantly trying to be more self-confident and assured about what I’m doing, but that’s far from my reality. Everything is so crazy now, it often seems impossible to catch a break. But I’ve had some successful moments, so here’s what I did to get there.

Recognize that things are tough right now. 

Take time to just notice that things are really tough right now. Whether you’re at college or at home, working or not, everything is harder than it used to be. From making friends to getting exercise to feeling stable, our lives have been upended. Recognizing that you’re in a stressful, undesirable situation is the first step to feeling a bit more secure and calm.

Lemon_Tea_In_Hand Courtney Claassen / Spoon

Drink some herbal tea 

Seriously, it works miracles. I know this sounds a little basic, but having some chamomile or rooibos while just sitting and reflecting upon your day makes every evening so much more manageable. My current favorite teas are the Tulsi Ashwagandha by Organic India, Blueberry Hibiscus Superflower by The Republic of Tea, and Cinnamon Apple Chamomile by Stash. Take 15 minutes out of your evening to have one of these (or another non-caffeinated kind), add some honey if you’d like, turn on some calming music, and put away all other distractions. Then allow the tea’s warm feeling to consume your thoughts!

Talk to someone you haven’t seen in a while. 

Whether it’s a grandparent, cousin, friend who lives far away, or neighbor, use this time to catch up with them and exchange details of what’s going on in your lives. When the world gets hectic and you feel lonely or sad, chatting with another person who appreciates you can be so healing. As humans, we crave social interaction, so it’s necessary to reach out to your loved ones and just catch up.

Don’t compare yourself to others 

I know it’s much easier said than done, but everyone has something going on in their lives that isn’t visible on the outside. Maybe the girl in your French 101 class has been taking the language for a few years already but doesn’t want to admit it, your teammate had a personal trainer over the summer, or your friend is naturally able to feel more awake than you with less sleep. Remember that it’s okay to move throughout life at your own pace, and you never know what other people are hiding about themselves that might cause them to look “better” than you in some way. Keep on doing your own thing, and know that one day you’ll reach your goals!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Spend time with friends. 

If you’re lacking social activity, get together with friends (or even just acquaintances) to have a movie night, or FaceTime them if you’re alone. Starting college right now has made it really difficult to make friends, but whenever I video chat with the ones I already have who go to different schools, my day becomes instantly better. So be brave and ask someone to do something with you—whether it’s watching a movie, doing some crafts, going on a hike, or just hanging out and talking.

Have some alone time

Consequently, if you’ve been spending too much time with other people (and I envy you!), take some time to be on your own. Watch a TV show, call your family, paint your nails— something that doesn’t require a lot of energy and dedication. The world can get so exhausting sometimes, and I promise that spending even half an hour doing whatever the heck you want is incredibly liberating!

In conclusion, I want to restate that life in general is hard right now, so don’t hold yourself to the same standards as you did seven months ago. Do what you can to be well, do things at your own speed, and remember that you are enough.